Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ambrosian & gregorian hymns for Quasimodo Sunday

Andrea del Verrocchio. Christ and Doubting Thomas. 1467–1483. Florence.
The hymns available for the traditional mass wed text, theology, and music exquisitely. I live in an english speaking community. English is an accumulative language. Ecclesiastical latin accumulated greek vocabulary, and hebraic theology. A song can refer to the sacrifice of the mass, the communion of believers, and the salvation of God's people now, and from Moses―or anytime from Adam to the last day.

Saint Stephen has had a latin schola for a year, it has finished an annual cycle, but some songs are being done for the first time, since the ordinary had to be learned first, and some members have joined during the year. One of the members studied for a doctorate in classical languages at the University of Pennsylvania, and can give spontaneous translation of the text. This with a little discussion amongst the members, in asides and questions becomes a mini symposium (without the drinking). Ablatives, gerunds and the importance of the fourth declension are mentioned in passing.

To-day has many names. I must mention, to-day fulfills the octave of Easter, and is also, then fittingly, Divine Mercy Sunday. Perhaps, most anciently, to-day is Dominica in albis depositis, the sunday of laying away the white (garment of baptism) is one which is reflected in an ambrosian hymn, which is not served well by the usual Neale translation.
[each verse should span only the column]
1. AD cenam Agni providi, stolis salutis candidi, post transitum maris Rubri Christo canamus principi.
--At the supper the Lamb provides,
--------------------------clothes of health(salvation) of gleaming white,
---------------------------------------------after the passage through the Red Sea
------------------------------------------------------- we sing to Christ the prince.
--At the mass
--Ad regias Agni dapes [beginning of alternate hymn]
2. Cuius corpus sanctissimum in ara crucis torridum, sed et cruorem roseum gustando, Dei vivimus.
------j*-------------------------------------------------------------------------rosy gore
3. Protecti paschæ vespero a devastante angelo, de Pharaonis aspero sumus erept(i)§ imperio.
-----------paschal eve a devastating angel (unnamed, conjecture -- Uriel?)
4. Iam pascha nostrum Christus est, agnus occisus innocens; sinceritatis azyma qui carnem suam obtulit.
---J* ------ χ -------------- χ-innocent (in = negation, nocens = harmful, a criminal)
-unleavened (a =
negation, greek)
5. O vera, digna hostia, per quam franguntur tartara, captiva plebs redimitur, redduntur vit
æ præmia!
---------------------------------netherworld (greek, latin is inferno, english hell),
-------------------------------------------------------------, the captive proletariat ----------------------------------redeemed/ransomed/atoned,
6. Consurgit Christus tumulo, victor redit de barat(h)ro, tyrannum trudens vinculo et paradisum reserans.
----------------------------------------------------------depths† ------------------------------------- unbolted
7. Esto perenne mentibus paschale, Iesu, gaudium et nos renatos gratiæ tuis triumphis aggrega.
----------------------------------------------- J*
8. Iesu, tibi sit gloria, qui morte victa prænites, cum Patr(e)§ et almo Spiritu, in sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

Another song for today is, O fillii et fili
æ. It deals greatly with T(h)omas’ doubt. Quando Thomas vidit Christum, pedes, manus, latus suum, dixit: Tu es Deus meus, alleluia. The uncertain Thomas shrinks at the staid Christ as he inspects his wounds.
*(i) when palatised becomes (j)
†(h) in words borrowed from greek are unaspirated (silent);
(Φ) is written ph in latin, (Φ) in cyrillic is (f), sounded (f) in latin, russian, english, ) = ch
Pasch is the passover and the resurrection holiday, hebrew→greek→latin
§ silent or slurred in song not in speech

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